Angry New Yorker

Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Work for the city, but live outside it?

We've always found NYC's various residency requirements, which require people who work in certain jobs for the city to live within the five boros, absolutely insane, and have wondered how they've passed constitutional scrutiny (see U.S. Const. art. iv, sec. 2, cl.1 (detailing privileges and immunities clause).
Yet, the NYS Court of Appeals (our highest state court) just decided that NYC employees who live outside New York City, can be summarily fired without an administrative hearing. We'll have more to say about this when we have a chance to digest the full decisions - In the Matter of Francisco Felix v. New York City Department of Citywide Adminstrative Services, available here as a PDF.

Update: Having now read the decision, the Court of Appeals was absolutely right in this case -- at least with its application of the residency requirement. I also remembered that the P&I clause applies to states, and not municipalities, though there is a gray line. Still, given the price of real estate in NYC and it's rise since 1986, when Mayor Koch slapped the residency requirement on, the idea of requiring NYC employees to live in NYC (yes, I know when you phrase it that way it sounds like a no-brainer) is a long-term prescription for disaster.

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